Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hawaii - Day 5 - Happy Boxing Day

Ah, Kona. My new favorite day of my life. Why did I wait until I was 50 to try snorkeling? Today’s experience left me with an appetite to go even further and consider scuba.

An early departure, all morning on the water, Body Glove company provided food, flippers, snorkels and – get this – prescription masks. I could use my exact optical prescription and see clearly without my glasses.

We got basic instruction and lots of assistance. They even provided lifeguards. Though with each of us using noodles to keep ourselves afloat, they pretty much spent time guarding us from getting too close to the rocks.

Lovely coral reef in a protected cove. Nicknamed “Turtle Heaven” – it did not disappoint as I observed a large sea turtle swimming below. My waterproof camera was kept busy clicking on lovely coral and lovelier underwater life. My favorite came, though, when I headed over a deeper crevice and caught site of an eel darting between rocks. I waited for it to move again and was not disappointed. I captured him in my lens – on video and digital photo. Will post later.

On our return to shore, we were fortunate enough to view two humpback whales - an adult and a juvenile - spouting, blowing and flipping. Ah, Kona.

Another wonderful experience of bonding with my 15 year old. A little sun, a little surf, a little smile between us. Goes a long way towards solidifying family ties and gets filed away with the treasured other lifetime memories.

Ah, Kona. Mahalo.

Oh, yes, and there was shopping. Lots and lots of shopping. Even Wal-Mart is visible from the cruise ship and provides a shuttle from the pier.

This was one stop where we have to take tender boats from the ship to the pier because the waters are too shallow at the pier - there is no place for the ships to safely dock. They anchor out in deep water and use the same boats (which would be our life boats in the event of an emergency) to take us back and forth. After returning from my snorkel, I showered and returned to shore for a shopping expedition. Picked up a couple of cute dresses - original Hawai'ian designs - from Hilo Hattie. They aren't garishly coloured, but have enough island flavour to remind me of this oh so pleasant holiday without screaming "tourist."

Ah, Kona. I am poorer in my wallet but richer for knowing you.

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